Supergirl, S2E6 – Changing

This week, Supergirl‘s characters all dealt with plenty of changes, both physically and metaphorically. The villain of the week was Parasite, an infection that caused a metamorphosis in its host, an environmental advocate named Doctor Jones. He gained the ability to absorb energy from others, which in turn weakened Kara and J’onn for the episode. Due to their alien heroes being out of commission, James and Mon-El both ended up doing some soul-searching and stepped up to the plate in their own ways. Finally, Alex had to come to terms with her sexual identity and come out to her sister regardless of what it meant for her romantic future with Maggie.

Mon-El & James admirably back Supergirl up.

Even though Kara learned last week that she needs to let Mon-El learn Earth’s ways at his own pace, Supergirl has to step in once she learns that he’s acting as a bounty hunter of sorts. While the Daxamite has a point that he isn’t used to this planet’s ways and can’t be expected to act just like Kara, it’s important that she doesn’t give up on him. At the very least, he shouldn’t be using his powers to hurt others. While I haven’t totally warmed up to Mon-El, Chris Wood plays him with a warmth and charm that’s hard to resist. The moment in which he finally decides to help fight against Parasite, because he knows Kara can’t, felt earned. By the time he got captured by Cadmus, I was fully rooting for him, which isn’t something I would have said last week. If there’s one thing Supergirl is doing well this season, it’s pacing the characters arcs so that each week gives you just enough without dragging or feeling rushed.

James also got to be a hero in the traditional sense this week, with some help from Winn’s armor and weaponry. As disappointing as it is not to see the show capitalize on the good that everyday heroes can do, this episode did a much better job of showing why James is right for the role of Guardian. Winn’s voice in his ear and his own sharp instincts make him an excellent sidekick despite his lack of alien prowess. Even the scenes where he and Winn were fighting felt believably tense, because both James’ and Kara’s lives were at stake this week. The new concern is the fact that Guardian is being kept a secret from Kara, but at least the reason is more “she’ll kick our butts” and less “we must protect her.”

Alex confides in her sister.

Once again Alex Danvers steals the show through a combination of her heartfelt scenes with Kara and Chyler Leigh’s breathtaking portrayal. It’s rare to see a story line about sexual identity handled as carefully and with as much heart as it is on Supergirl, especially on the CW. Kara got a chance to show her sisterly side and be the one who comforts Alex for once, and they both reflected on how Alex has built her world around Kara until now. Her and Maggie’s dynamic has been a joy to watch this season, although it takes a turn for the painful this week. As much as we may want to see these two ladies get together sooner rather than later, Maggie’s reasons for pumping the brakes are completely understandable. Both the Maggie and the show seem to be playing the long game, so it’s better to wait until Alex is confident in who she is and want she wants than risk breaking both their hearts early on.

This week’s episode left a lot of threads left to unravel. The biggest one is what happened to Mon-El and how Kara will save him, but there’s also the question of the blood transfusion M’gann gave J’onn. Is J’onn undergoing a physical change because of the White Martian? And what will it mean for their relationship if and when J’onn finds out who she really is? It’s rare that I’m invested in every plot line on a show, but that’s a testament to Supergirl‘s quality this season. The only concern I have is that Kara seems to be supporting other characters at the moment more than they are supporting her, but as long as she continues learning about herself by helping others then the show isn’t any worse off for it.